About

the

Artist

Major Performance Venues

  • Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle)

  • DC Jazz Festival

  • Rochester Jazz Festival

  • Atlanta Jazz Festival

  • Detroit Jazz Festival

  • Zandari Festa (Seoul, SK)

  • Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)

  • Roulette (Brooklyn)

  • The Kitchen (Manhattan)

  • The University of North Texas

  • Temple University

  • Clark University

  • Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor)

  • SWR New Jazz Meeting (Germany)

  • ZK Matthews Hall (Pretoria, SA)

Clubs

  • The Jazz Gallery

  • Smalls

  • Sub Culture

  • Bar Lunatico

  • 55 Bar

  • SEEDs

  • Kitano

  • Arlene's Grocery

  • The Owl

  • Deer Head Inn (PA)

  • Sam First (CA)

performance credits include recent and upcoming performances

About Lex

(Short)

Lex Korten has had ample opportunity to learn from some of the finest and most dedicated mentors in Jazz music. To help represent America’s great original art form, a music with social purpose and irrevocable partnership with African-American heritage, is a privilege and responsibility Lex strives to fulfill every day. He has been fortunate enough to perform worldwide in service of this message and the betterment of his craft. Lex is proud to collaborate with many like-minded individuals in his generation and an ever-expanding list of great luminaries, and he leads new projects regularly at The Jazz Gallery in NYC. His playing has been called upon by greats including Tyshawn Sorey, Jaleel Shaw, Caroline Davis, Ari Hoenig, Dayna Stephens, Robert Hurst, Clarence Penn, Joel Ross and Massimo Biolcati. Recently, Lex won 1st prize in the 2020 UNISA International Jazz Piano Competition, held in South Africa.

Full Bio

(Long)

 

        Lex Korten (b. 1994) was born and raised in New York City. Surrounded by an enormous rotating library of music in the household, Lex fell in love with Jazz around the age of 10 after being exposed to the sounds of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. He found his first mentor, Brooks Hartell, through the backpack newsletter of his elementary school (P.S. 87), and was guided into the life-changing discoveries of Wynton Kelly and Jaki Byard, amongst many other lifelong heroes. Lex’s development continued at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California for 6 summers; he also studied throughout high school with Taylor Eigsti and eventually Fred Hersh. Lex was awarded by the National YoungArts Foundation for Jazz Piano/Composition before graduating from the High School for Math, Science and Engineering in Harlem in 2012.

 

       Lex attended the University of Michigan to study with Geri Allen while pursuing a dual degree in political science. Becoming engrossed in the scene/history of Detroit marked an extremely transformative period, thanks to a tight group of inspired peers and an unforgettable cross-collaborative community in Ann Arbor. Lex was mentored closely for two years by renowned pianist Benny Green and also learned from Marcus Belgrave, Robert Hurst, Andrew Bishop, Ellen Rowe and Rodney Whitaker in the classroom and on the bandstand.

 

        After graduating with his BFA in Jazz Studies in 2016, Lex returned to New York City. Since then, he has established himself as a crucial young voice drawing a common thread between many different communities surrounding Jazz and improvised music. This is shown clearly by the kind of bandleaders who are seeking him out - Tyshawn Sorey, Ari Hoenig, Jaleel Shaw, Caroline Davis, and Dayna Stephens for starters. He’s lucky enough to be central in the musical activity of his generation’s most ambitious leaders including Joel Ross, Morgan Guerin, Sasha Berliner, Nick Dunston, Kweku Sumbry, George Delancey, Davy Lazar, Cole Davis, Shai Golan, Dave Adewumi, Benny Rubin Jr. and countless others. Lex is also a prolific writer and bandleader with several ongoing projects due to be recorded soon. His solo piano debut "Foreword" released on June 18, 2021. He aims to learn from his peers, elders and youngers while continuing to compose and lend his voice to the beautiful dialogue occurring in the world of improvised Black American Music.

       Lex currently has teaching engagements at The New School and Long Island University, and occasionally teaches private students.

Photography by Tom Henning